In an indication of the growing ranks of software product/ engineering companies in India, Nasscom – India’s premier software industry association – organized its 3rd Annual Product Enclave, in India’s Silicon Valley – Bangalore. I was there to represent Digite there along with my colleagues. The theme at this year’s conference was “Positioning to Win” – and underscored the need for software companies to establish their brand globally through innovation – both in product and marketing – and thought-leadership.
At Digite, we understand the importance of this. Being a leading-edge software startup is not the best place to start establishing a brand. But meeting and working with pioneering customers and partners, as we have done over the last 8 years, has been an incredibly rewarding experience – and well worth the trip on the leading-edge! In the coming year, Digite plans to roll out some pretty innovative initiatives both on the product and the marketing fronts, all of which will unfold here in our blogs and websites over the next several months. The Product Enclave was a good venue to hear some of the industry luminaries validate our initiatives through their thoughts and ideas.
This year’s event had Guy Kawasaki of Garage Technology Ventures, Rajesh Hukku, former CEO of i-flex Solutions (now Oracle Financial Solutions) and K. Ganesh from Tutor Vista, among others. Guy Kawasaki was, as usual, brilliant – both in ideas and oratory! Some of the points he made for small/ start-up technology companies –
- Build what you want to use
- Niche Thyself – Jump the curve and Create the new curve
- Pay no (or very little) money for Marketing, Tools, People
- Instead of sucking up, suck down/ across
- Use Twitter – fast, ubiquitous, instantaneous and FREE
- Give people value constantly and once in a while earn the right to sell
- Put everything in the cloud (pay less for infrastructure)
- Ship than test
- Forget the VC
- Don’t let the Bozos grind you down
K. Ganesh, CEO of Tutor Vista keeps it simple. Tutor Vista is an incredible virtual tutoring success story with 20,000 students (just 20 times more than what the VCs thought was ever possible!) and 5,000 teachers that used simple yet effective techniques such as on-line 24×7 live chat and getting 15-day free trials establish credibility. Inspiring story that! Rajesh Hukku’s story of i-flex and its trials and tribulations and the ‘roll-up your sleeves and make it happen’ attitude that lead to its success is a great example of innovation on all fronts – product, marketing and overall leadership.
To sum it up, I will borrow from one of the panel speakers from Tejas Networks who spent 25 years in the US before recently moving back to Bangalore. He said “the environment in Bangalore (read India) is very exciting, perhaps as much as anywhere in the world, the ecosystem is getting there and the time is ripe for innovation and products to happen”. Therein lies the opportunity for product companies.
Breakaway opportunities uniquely present themselves in the curves; and races are won or lost in the curves. At Digite, we are uniquely positioned to address a new set of challenges in the area of globally distributed software development and application lifecycle management with curves like Agile and Lean methodologies already upon us. It promises to be an exciting 2010!
Vice President, Business Development, Digite, Inc.